William Shakespeare.

The dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) online

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Ch. Just. What foolish master taught you these
manners, sir John ?


Fal. Master Gower, if they become me not, he was
a fool that taught them me. This is the right fencing
grace, my lord ; tap for tap, and so part fair.

Ch. Just. Now the Lord lighten thee ! thou art a
great fool. [Exeunt.

SCENE II. The same. Another Street.


P. Hen. Trust me, I am exceeding weary.

Poins. Is it come to that ? I had thought, weariness
durst not have attached one of so high blood.

P. Hen. Faith, it does me ; though it discolors the
complexion of my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth
it not show vilely in me to desire small beer ?

Poins. Why, a prince should not be so loosely
studied, as to remember so weak a composition.

P. Hen. Belike, then, my appetite was not princely
got ; for, by my troth, I do now remember the poor
creature, small beer. But, indeed, these humble con
siderations make me out of love with my greatness.
What a disgrace is it to me, to remember thy name ?
or to know thy face to-morrow ? or to take note how
many pair of silk stockings thou hast ; viz. these, and
those that were the peach-colored ones ? or to bear the
inventory of thy shirts ; as, one for superfluity, and one
other for use ? but that the tennis-court keeper knows
better than I ; for it is a low ebb of linen with thee,
when thou keepest not racket there ; as thou hast not
done a great while, because the rest of thy low-coun
tries have made a shift to eat up thy holland; and God
knows, whether those that bawl out the ruins of thy
linen, 1 shall inherit his kingdom : but the midwives say
the children are not in the fault ; whereupon the world
increases, and kindreds are mightily strengthened.

Poins. How ill it follows, after you have labored so

1 His bastard children, wrapped up in his old shirts.


hard, you should talk so idly. Tell me, how many
good young princes would do so, their fathers being so
sick as yours at this time is ?

P. Hen. Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins ?

Poins. Yes ; and let it be an excellent good thing.

P. Hen. It shall serve among wits of no higher
breeding than thine.

Poins. Go to ; I stand the push of your one thing
that you will tell.

P. Hen. Why, I tell thee, it is not meet that I
should be sad, now my father is sick ; albeit I could tell
to thee, (as to one it pleases me, for fault of a better, to
call my friend,) I could be sad, and sad indeed too.

Poins. Very hardly, upon such a subject.

P. Hen. By this hand, thou think st me as far in
the devil s book, as thou, and Falstaff, for obduracy and
persistency. Let the end try the man. But I tell
thee, my heart bleeds inwardly, that my father is so
sick ; and keeping such vile company as thou art, hath
in reason taken from me all ostentation 1 of sorrow.

Poins. The reason ?

P. Hen. What wouldst thou think of me, if I should
weep ?

Poins. I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.

P. Hen. It would be every man s thought : and
thou art a blessed fellow, to think as every man thinks.
Never a man s thought in the world keeps the road
way better than thine ; every man would think me a
hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most wor
shipful thought to think so ?

Poins. Why, because you have been so lewd, and
so much engraffed to Falstaff.


P. Hen. And to thee.

Poins. By this light, I am well spoken of; I can
hear it with mine own ears : the worst that they can
say of me is, that I am a second brother, and that I am
a proper fellow of my hands ; 2 and those two things, I

1 Ostentation is not here used for boastful show, but for mere outward

2 A proper fellow of my hands is the same as a tall fellow of his hands,


confess, I cannot help. By the mass, here comes Bar

P. Hen. And the boy that I gave Falstaff: he had
him from me Christian ; and look, if the fat villain have
not transformed him ape.

Enter BARDOLPH and Page.

Bard. Save your grace !

P. Hen. And yours, most noble Bardolph !

Bard. Come, you virtuous ass, [To the Page.] you
bashful fool, must you be blushing ? wherefore blush
you now ? What a maidenly man at arms are you be
come ! Is it such a matter, to get a pottlepot s maiden
head ?

Page. He called me even now, my lord, through a
red-lattice, 1 and I could discern no part of his face from
the window : at last, I spied his eyes ; and, methought,
he had made two holes in the ale-wife s new petticoat,
and peeped through.

P. Hen. Hath not the boy profited ?

Bard. Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away !

Page. Away, you rascally Althea s dream, away !

P. Hen. Instruct us, boy ; what dream, boy ?

Page. Marry, my lord, Althea dreamed she was de
livered of a firebrand; and therefore I call him her

P. Hen. A crown s worth of good interpretation.
There it is, boy. [Gives him money.

Poins. O that this good blossom could be kept
from cankers ! Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.

Bard. An you do not make him be hanged among
you, the gallows shall have wrong.

P. Hen. And how doth thy master, Bardolph ?

Bard. Well, rny lord. He heard of your grace s
coming to town ; there s a letter for you.

which is only a free version of the French homme haul a-la-main : a
man of execution or valor. That a tall or a proper fellow was sometimes
used in an equivocal sense for a thief, there can be no doubt.
1 An alehouse window.

VOL. IV. 5


Poins. Delivered with good respect. And how
doth the martlemas, 1 your master ?

Bard. In bodily health, sir.

Poins. Marry, the immortal part needs a physician ,
but that moves not him ; though that be sick it dies not.

P. Hen. I do allow this wen to be as familiar with
me as my dog : and he holds his place ; for, look you,
how he writes.

Poins. [Reads. ] John Falstaff, knight, Every

man must know that, as oft as he has occasion to name
himself. Even like those that are kin to the kin^: for


they never prick their finger, but they say, There is
some of the king s blood spilt : How comes that ? says
he that takes upon him not to conceive : the answer is
as ready as a borrower s 2 cap ; / am the king s poor
cousin, sir.

P. Hen. Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will
fetch it from Japhet. But the letter :

Poins. Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of the
king, nearest his father, Harry, prince of Wales, greet
ing. Why, this is a certificate.
P. Hen. Peace !

Poms. I will imitate the honorable Roman* in brev
ity : he sure means brevity in breath ; short-winded.
/ commend me to thee, I commend thee, and I leave
thee. Be not too familiar ivith Poins ; for he misuses
thy favors so much, that he swears thou art to marry his
sister Nell. Repent at idle times as thou may^st, and so

Thine, by yea and no, (which is as
much as to say, as thou usest him,)
Jack Falstaff, with my familiars ;
John, with my brothers and sisters ;
and sir John, with all Europe.

1 Falstaff is before called "thou latter spring, all-hallown summer"
and Poins now calls him martlemas, a corruption of martinmas, which
means the same thing. The feast of St. Martin being considered the lat-
_er end of autumn, Este de St. Martin is a French proverb for a late sum
mer. It means, therefore, an old fellow with juvenile passions.

2 The old copy reads a borrowed cap. The emendation is Warburton s.

3 That is, Julius C&sar. Falstaff alludes to the veni, vidi, trier, which
he afterwards quotes.


My lord, I will steep this letter in sack, and make him
eat it.

P. Hen. That s to make him eat twenty of his
words. But do you use me thus, Ned ? must I marry
your sister ?

Poins. May the wench have no worse fortune ! but
I never said so.

P. Hen. Well, thus we play the fools with the time ;
and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds, and mock
us. Is your master here in London ?

Bard. Yes, my lord.

P. Hen. Where sups he ? doth the old boar feed in
the old frank ? l

Bard. At the old place, my lord ; in Eastcheap.

P. Hen. What company?

Page. Ephesians, my lord ; of the old church. 2

P. Hen. Sup any women with him?

Page. None, my lord, but old mistress Quickly, and
mistress Doll Tear-sheet.

P. Hen. What pagan may that be?

Page. A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman
of my master s.

P. Hen. Even such kin as the parish heifers are to
the town bull. Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at
supper ?

Poins. I am your shadow, my lord; I ll follow you.

P. Hen. Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph ; no word
to your master, that I am yet come to town. There s
for your silence.

Bard. I have no tongue, sir.

Page. And for mine, sir, I will govern it.

P. Hen. Fare ye well ; go. [Exeunt BARDOLPH
and Page.] This Doll Tear-sheet should be some

Poins. I warrant you, as common as the way be
tween Saint Albans and London.

1 A siy, a place to fatten a boar in.

2 A cant phrase, probably signifying topers, or jolly companions of the
old sort.


P. Hen. How might we see Falstaff bestow 1 him
self to-night in his true colors, and not ourselves be
seen ?

Poins. Put on two leather jerkins, and aprons, and
wait upon him at his table as drawers.

P. Hen. From a god to a bull ? a heavy descen-
sion! 2 it was Jove s case. From a prince to a pren
tice ? a low transformation ! that shall be mine ; for, in
every thing, the purpose must weigh with the folly.
Follow me, Ned. [Exeunt.

SCENE III. Warkworth. Before the Castle.


North. I pray thee, loving wife, and gentle daughter,
Give even way unto my rough affairs ;
Put not you on the visage of the times,
And be, like them, to Percy troublesome.

Lady N. I have given over ; I will speak no more.
Do what you will ; your wisdom be your guide.

North. Alas, sweet wife, my honor is at pawn ;
And, but my going, nothing can redeem it.

Lady P. O, yet, for God s sake, go not to these

wars !

The time was, father, that you broke your word,
When you were more endeared to it than now ;
When your own Percy, when my heart s dear Harry,
Threw many a northward look, to see his father
Bring up his powers ; but he did long in vain.
Who then persuaded you to stay at home ?
There were two honors lost ; yours, and your son s.
For yours, may heavenly glory brighten it !

1 i. e. act. In a MS. letter from secretary Conway to Buckingham, at
the Isle of Ree, " also what the lords have advanced for the expedition
towards you, since Saturday that they returned from Windsor with charge
to bestowe themselves seriously in it." Conway Papers.

2 The folio reads declension.


For his, it stuck upon him, as the sun

In the gray vault of heaven ; and, by his light,

Did all the chivalry of England move

To do brave acts ; he was, indeed, the glass

Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves.

He had no legs, that practised not his gait ; l

And speaking thick, 2 which nature made his blemish,

Became the accents of the valiant ;

For those that could speak low, and tardily,

Would turn their own perfection to abuse,

To seem like him. So that, in speech, in gait,

In diet, in affections of delight,

In military rules, humors of blood,

He was the mark and glass, copy and book,

That fashioned others. And him, O wondrous him !

O miracle of men ! him did you leave

(Second to none, unseconded by you)

To look upon the hideous god of war

In disadvantage ; to abide a field.

Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur s name

Did seem defensible ; 3 so you left him.

Never, O never, do his ghost the wrong,

To hold your honor more precise and nice

With others, than with him ; let them alone ;

The marshal, and the archbishop, are strong;

Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,

To-day might I, hanging on Hotspur s neck,

Have talked of Monmouth s grave.

North. Beshrew your heart,

Fair daughter ! you do draw my spirits from me,
With new lamenting ancient oversights.
But I must go, and meet with danger there ;


Or it will seek me in another place,
And find me worse provided.

1 The twenty-two following lines were first given in the folio.

2 Speaking thick is speaking quick, rapidity of utterance. Baret trans
lates the anhilitus creber of Virgil, thicke-brcathing.

3 Defensible does not in this place mean capable of defence, but bearing
str ength, furnishing the means of defence ; the passive for the active par


Lady N. O, fly to Scotland,

Till that the nobles, and the armed commons,
Have of their puissance made a little taste.

Lady P. If they get ground and vantage of the


Then join you with them, like a rib of steel,
To make strength stronger ; but, for all our loves,
First let them try themselves. So did your son ;
He was so suffered ; so came I a widow ;
And never shall have length of life enough,
To rain upon remembrance ] with mine eyes,
That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven,
For recordation to my noble husband.

North. Come, come, go in with me ; tis with my


As with the tide swelled up unto its height,
That makes a still-stand, running neither way.
Fain would I go to meet the archbishop,
But many thousand reasons hold me back.
I will resolve for Scotland ; there am I,
Till time and vantage crave my company. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. London. A Room in the Boar s Head
Tavern in Eastcheap.

Enter two Drawers.

1 Draw. What the devil hast thou brought there ?
apple-Johns ? Thou know st sir John cannot endure
an apple- John. 2

2 Draw. Mass, thou sayest true. The prince once
set a dish of apple-Johns before him, and told him,

1 Alluding to the plant rosemary, so called because it was the symbol
of remembrance.

2 This apple, which was said to keep two years, is well described
by Philips :

" Nor John-apple, whose withered rind, entrenched
By many a furrow, aptly represents
Decrepid age."


there were five more sir Johns ; and, putting off his
hat, said, / will now take my leave of these six dry,
round, old, withered knights. It angered him to the
heart ; but he hath forgot that.

1 Draw. Why, then, cover, and set them down ; and
see if thou canst find out Sneak s noise ; l mistress
Tear-sheet would fain hear some music. Despatch.
The room where they supped is too hot ; they ll come
in straight.

2 Draw. Sirrah, here will be the prince, and master
Poins anon : and they will put on two of our jerkins,
and aprons ; and sir John must not know of it. Bar-
dolph hath brought word.

1 Draw. By the mass, here will be old utis. 2 It
will be an excellent stratagem.

2 Draw. I ll see if I can find out Sneak. [Exit.

Enter Hostess and DOLL TEAR-SHEET.

Host. F faith, sweet heart, me thinks now you are in
an excellent good temperality ; your pulsidge beats as
extraordinarily as heart would desire ; and your color,
I warrant you, is as red as any rose. But, i faith, you
have drunk too much canaries ; and that s a marvellous
searching wine, and it perfumes the blood ere one can
say, What s this ? How do you now ?

Dol. Better than I was. Hem.

Host. Why, that s well said ; a good heart s worth
gold. Look, here comes sir John.

1 A ?20i5e, or a consort, was used for a set or company of musicians.
Sneak was a street minstrel, and therefore the drawer goes out to listen
for his band. Falstaff addresses them as a company in another scene.
In the old play of King Henry IV. " There came the young prince, and
two or three more of his companions, and called for wine good store, and
then sent for a noyce of musitians" &c.

2 Old utis is old festivity, or merry doings. Utis, or utas, being the
eighth day after any festival, any day between the feast and the eighth
day was said to be within the utas, from the French huit.


Enter FAL STAFF, singing.

Fal. When Arthur first in court} Empty the Jordan.
And was a worthy king. How now, mistress Doll ?

[Exit Drawer.]

Host. Sick of a calm ; yea, good sooth.

Fal. So is all her sect ; 2 an they be once in a calm,
they are sick.

Dol. You muddy rascal, is that all the comfort you
give me ?

Fal. You make fat rascals, 3 mistress Doll.

Dol. I make them ! gluttony and diseases make
them ; I make them not.

Fal. If the cook help to make the gluttony, you
help to make the diseases, Doll ; we catch of you, Doll,
we catch of you ; grant that, my poor virtue, grant

Dol. Ay, marry; our chains, and our jewels.

Fal. Your brooches, pearls, and oiccJies ; for to
serve bravely, is to come halting off, you know : To
come off the breach with his pike bent bravely, and to
surgery bravely ; to venture upon the charged cham
bers 4 bravely :

Dol. Hang yourself, you muddy conger, hang

Host. By my troth, this is the old fashion ; you two
never meet, but you fall to some discord : you arc
both, in good truth, as rheumatic 5 as two dry toasts;
you cannot one bear with another s confirmities. What

the iiood-vear ! one must bear, and that must be you :

*/ /

1 The entire ballad is in the first volume of Dr. Percy s Reliques of
Ancient Poetry.

2 Sect and sex were anciently synonymous ; the instances of the use of
the one for the other are too numerous for it to have been a mere cor

3 " Rascall (says Puttenham, p. 150) is properly the hunting term given
to young deer leane and out of season, and not to people."

4 To understand this quibble, it is necessary to remember that a cham
ber signifies not only an apartment, but a small piece of ordnance.

5 Mrs. Quickly means splenetic. It should be remarked, however, that
rheum seems to have been a cant word for spleen.


[To DOLL.] you are the weaker vessel, as they say,
the emptier vessel.

Dot. Can a weak, empty vessel bear such a huge,
full hogshead ? There s a whole merchant s venture


of Bordeaux stuff in him : you have not seen a hulk
better stuffed in the hold. Come, I ll be friends with
thee, Jack : thou art going to the wars ; and whether
I shall ever see thee again, or no, there is nobody cares.

Re-enter Drawer.

Draw. Sir, ancient l Pistol s below, and would speak
with you.

Dol. Hang him, swaggering rascal ! let him not

o O

come hither ; it is the foul-mouth dst rogue in

Host. If he swagger, let him not come here : no,
by my faith ; I must live amongst my neighbors ; I ll
no swaggerers ; I am in good name and fame with the
very best. Shut the door ; there comes no swagger
ers here ; I have not lived all this while to have swag
gering now ; shut the door, I pray you.

Fed. Dost thou hear, hostess ?

Host. Pray you, pacify yourself, sir John ; there
comes no swaggerers here.

Fal. Dost thou hear ? it is mine ancient.

Host. Tilly-fally, sir John, never tell me ; your an
cient swaggerer comes not in my doors. I was before
master Tisick, the deputy, the other day ; and, as he
said to me, it was no longer ago than Wednesday


List, Neighbor Quickly, says he ; master Dumb, our
minister, was by then ; Neighbor Quickly, s:iys he, re
ceive those that are civil ; for, saith he, you are in an ill
name ; now he said so. I can tell whereupon ; for,
says he, you arc an honest woman, and well thought on;
therefore take heed what guests you receive. Receive,
says he, no swaggering companions. There comes
none here ; you would bless you to hear what lie
said. No, I ll no swaggerers.

1 That is, ensign.
VOL. IV. 6


Fal. He s no swaggerer, hostess ; a tame cheater, 1
he ; you may stroke him as gently as a puppy grey
hound ; he will not swagger with a Barbary hen, if
her feathers turn back in any show of resistance. Call
him up, drawer.

Host. Cheater, call you him ? I will bar no honest
man my house, nor no cheater. 2 But I do not love
swaggering ; by my troth, I am the worse, when one
says swagger : feel, masters, how I shake ; look you,
I warrant you.

Dol. So you do, hostess.

Host. Do I ? yea, in very truth, do I, an twere an
aspen leaf; I cannot abide swaggerers.

Enter PISTOL, BARDOLPH, and Page.

Pist. Save you, sir John!

Fal. Welcome, ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I
charge you with a cup of sack ; do you discharge upon
mine hostess.

Pist. I will discharge upon her, sir John, with two

Fal. She is pistol-proof, sir ; you shall hardly offend

Host. Come, I ll drink no proofs, nor no bullets.
I ll drink no more than will do me good, for no man s
pleasure, I.

Pist. Then to you, mistress Dorothy ; I will charge

Dol. Charge me ? I scorn you. scurvy companion.
What ! you poor, base, rascally, cheating, lack-linen
mute ! Away, you mouldy rogue ; away ! I am meat for
your master.

Pist. I know you, mistress Dorothy.

Dol. Away, you cutpurse rascal! you filthy bung



1 Tame, cheater seems to have meant a rogue in general.

2 The humor consists in Mrs. Quickly s mistaking a cheater for an es-
cheator, or officer of the exchequer.

3 To nip a bung, in the cant of thievery, was to cut a purse. " Bung is
now used for & pocket, heretofore for a purse ." Bdman of London, 1 610.
Doll means to call him pickpocket.


away ! by this wine, I ll thrust my knife in your mouldy
chaps, an you play the saucy cuttle with me. Away,
you bottle-ale rascal ! you basket-hilt stale juggler, you !
Since when, I pray you, sir ? What, with two
points l on your shoulder ? much ! 2

Pist. I will murder your ruff for this.

Fal. No more, Pistol ; I would not have you go off
here ; discharge yourself of our company, Pistol.

Host. No, good captain Pistol ; not here, sweet

Dol. Captain ! thou abominable, damned cheater, art
thou not ashamed to be called captain ? If captains were
of my mind, they would truncheon you out, for taking
their names upon you before you have earned them.
You a captain, you slave ! for what? for tearing a poor
whore s ruff in a bawdy house ? He a captain ! hang
him, rogue ! He lives upon mouldy stewed prunes,
and dried cakes. A captain ! these villains will make
the word captain as odious as the word occupy, 3 which
was an excellent good word before it was ill-sorted ;
therefore captains had need look to it.

Bard. Pray thee, go down, good ancient.

Fal. Hark thee hither, mistress Doll.

Pist. Not I ; tell thee what, corporal Bardolph ;
I could tear her ; I ll be revenged on her.

Page. Pray thee, go down.

Pist. I ll see her damned first ; to Pluto s damned
lake, to the infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures
vile also. Hold hook and line, say I. Down ! down,
dogs ! down, faitors ! 4 Have we not Hiren here ? 5

1 Laces, marks of his commission.

2 An expression of disdain.

3 This word had been perverted to an obscene meaning.

4 Traitors, rascals.

5 Shakspeare has put into the mouth of Pistol a tissue of absurd and
fustian passages from many ridiculous old plays. Part of this speech is
parodied from The Battle of Alcazar, 1594. Have we not Hiren here, is
probably a line from a play of George Peele s, called The Turkish Ma
homet and Hiren the fair Greek. It is often used ludicrously by subse
quent dramatists. Hiren, from its resemblance to siren, was used for a
seducing woman, and consequently for a courtesan. Pistol, in his rants,
twice brings in the same words, but apparently meaning to give his
sword the name of Hiren. Mrs. Quickly, with admirable simplicity, sup
poses him to ask for a woman.


Host. Good captain Peesel, be quiet ; it is very
late, i faith : I beseek you now, aggravate your choler.

Pist. These be good humors, indeed ! Shall pack-

And hollow, pampered jades of Asia,
Which cannot go but thirty miles a day, 1
Compare with Csesars, and with Cannibals, 2
And Trojan Greeks ? nay, rather damn them with
King Cerberus : and let the welkin roar.
Shall we fall foul for toys ?

Host. By my troth, captain, these are very bitter

Bard. Be gone, good ancient ; this will grow to a
brawl anon.

Pist. Die men, like dogs ; give crowns like pins.
Have we not Hiren here ?

Host. O my word, captain, there s none such here.
What the good-year! do you think I would deny her?
for God s sake, be quiet.

Pist. Then feed and be fat, my fair Calipolis. 3
Come, give s some sack.

Sifortuna me tormenta, sperato me contenta. 4

Fear we broadsides ? no, let the fiend give fire.
Give me some sack ; and, sweetheart, lie thou there.

[Lay ing down his sword.
Come we to full points here ; and are ct cctcras

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 3 of 38)